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     Peter Byrne is a naturalized American citizen whose great interest in wildlife began in the countryside of Ireland, where he was born and grew up. When he was eighteen he joined the British Air Force and served for four years in combat service in World War II. When the war ended, he joined a British tea company in north Bengal and spent five years living and working in the great forests of north India, terrain that teemed with wildlife in those years.

     In 1953 he left his tea industry work and walked from Darjeeling to Katmandu, 350 miles, to start a safari company. He ran this as a professional hunter in south west Nepal for eighteen years, before returning his hunting concession back to the Nepalese government and offering to turn it into protected area. To this end, in 1968, and to generate funding to create the new reserve, he founded, with four others-two doctors and two attorneys - the International Wildlife Conservation Society Inc., and had it registered in Washington D.C. as a not-for-profit foundation with 501 © 3 tax status.

     Returning to Nepal he spent a year encamped in the area that is today the Sukila Phanta (The White Grass Plains, or WGP) Wildlife Reserve and, working with local labor, demarcated and mapped the whole area, built roads and bridges, trained guards in wildlife protection work and provided equipment. Since that time he has spent part of every winter in the reserve, either working on conservation projects or running eco tours with clients as a means of raising money for these projects.

     Peter is the author of seven books; three of them-TULA HATTI, THE LAST GREAT ELEPHANT (Faber & Faber, NH), GENTLEMAN HUNTER and GONE ARE THE DAYS (Safari Press, California), being centered on wildlife in the Indo-Nepal region. His eighth book, due for release in 2007, will be a field guide to the WGP. He is a Member of the Academy of Applied Science of Boston, MA, a Member Emeritus of the Explorers Club of New York and, since 1968, Executive Director of the International Wildlife Conservation Society. For more information on his work with IWCS in Nepal, see the website’s NEWSLETTER for 2007. For more information on Peter Byrne, please visit his website at: www.petercbyrne.com